Thursday, June 20, 2013
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A microchip platform to
model heart failure
A microchip platform could
be used to model failing myocardium and identify molecules to prevent
myocardial infarction (MI) or hypertension. The device consists of neonatal
rat ventricular myocytes seeded on a fibronectin-patterned flexible silicone
membrane that is cyclically stretched to induce disease phenotypes.
Myocardium that underwent cyclic stretching showed pathologic changes to
myocyte shape, sarcomere alignment and gene expression, and it had decreased
contractile functions compared with unstretched myocardium. Next steps
include using the microchip platform to test compounds currently used to
treat heart failure, comparing results to those reported in animal models and
the clinic, and adapting the microchip platform to include human stem cell-derived
Published online June 20, 2013
Patented; licensed to TissueNetix Inc.
McCain, M.L. et al.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online
May 28, 2013;
Contact: Kevin Kit Parker, Harvard University,
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